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Joseph (Joe) T. Martinez received the $20 million Savings Recognition Award on behalf of ESL/TEES from the Alamo Colleges District for achieving cumulative energy savings of $20 million for the five-college district. | Image: Getty Images
Joseph (Joe) T. Martinez | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Joseph (Joe) T. Martinez, associate director, senior research engineer and project manager for Continuous Commissioning® (CC®) in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL), received the $20 million Savings Recognition Award on behalf of ESL/TEES from the Alamo Colleges District for achieving cumulative energy savings of $20 million for the five-college district.

The Alamo Colleges District partnered with ESL to implement Continuous Commissioning® energy management and sustainability strategies. In 2002, the Alamo Colleges District started the implementation of the CC® processes at three of the largest campuses (San Antonio College, St. Philip’s College and Palo Alto College). In 2005, when they expanded the four existing colleges and constructed a new one as part of their Capital Improvement Project, the CC® efforts extended to all five campuses and other facilities owned by the Alamo Colleges District.

“It was a major milestone to reach $20 million in cumulative energy savings through the partnership that Alamo Colleges District has with the Energy Systems Laboratory,” Martinez said. “The ESL has been working with the Alamo Colleges District since 2002, and has helped them create and implement a comprehensive districtwide approach to energy management.” 

Through the years, more than 100 facilities went through the CC® process, including existing and newly constructed buildings. Since then, the Alamo Colleges District has created a comprehensive districtwide approach to energy management and energy conservation strategies.

Alamo Colleges District’s facilities department under the direction of John W. Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operations and construction management, led these energy management operations by successfully implementing CC® processes, which included upgrading control systems, participating in demand-response programs, introducing thermal energy storage systems, installing 600 kilowatts of generation capacity in solar panels and implementing the four-day work week initiative during the summer. In February 2017, cumulative energy savings since implementing the Energy Management and CC ® partnership with ESL reached $20.06 million, which Martinez said is a major accomplishment for Alamo Colleges, TEES and Texas A&M University.

“It shows the importance of supporting these type of projects and how these partnerships are making a real impact in the community,” he said. “Cost savings from the successful implementation of energy management and Continuous Commissioning® initiatives has positively impacted Alamo Colleges District’s resources to enhance the educational experience of its students. And, the energy savings are contributing to the institution’s and the community’s sustainability goals.”

Martinez is the principal investigator of the Alamo Colleges District, serves as director of energy management, and is supported by ESL’s research associates and data analysis team to successfully implement CC® processes and energy management initiatives. His field of expertise is in energy analysis and energy management, and he has had more than 22 years of HVAC experience in both the private and public sectors. While at the Energy Systems Lab, he has managed many of the Continuous Commissioning® projects, provided research engineering services and led many research projects that have saved millions of dollars. He received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M and is a certified professional in Continuous Commissioning®.